Kelley has devoted much of her law practice to expertly navigating the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The projects she advances are as diverse as wastewater treatment plants, active adult retirement communities and the responsible administration of vector control programs. She is brought in to work with clients and their experts to solve environmental problems in ways that are efficient in both time and cost.
Some of her most interesting work occurs on matters where legal and scientific issues are uncertain. She can quickly identify areas in question and demonstrate ways the environment and client interests will be protected while solutions are implemented. Throughout her career in environmental permitting, she has followed advances in science, changes in policy and the ways the courts react to those factors. Her practice continues to grow to address evolving scientific and policy areas, such as groundwater management and multi-species habitat conservation planning.
Outside of work she spends time with her family—one she describes as a “baseball family in all ways.” A leader in community organizations, she has served as president of the area’s largest Little League for several years—a role that has helped her to enjoy the game even more. She has also been a longtime trustee of Sacramento Country Day School and currently serves as the President of the Board of Trustees.
Represent applicant in securing General Plan amendments, rezone, adoption of Specific Plan and associated local, state and federal entitlements and permits, as well as ensuring CEQA and NEPA compliance, for 2,500-unit mixed use active adult community in Fresno County.
Represented developer in securing entitlements and subdivision maps, and negotiating conditions of approval, for 160-unit condominium project in El Dorado County.
Assisted developer of eco-adventure resort on San Mateo County coast with processing and implementation of entitlements from San Mateo County, California Coastal Commission.
As counsel to Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District, provide ongoing advice regarding CEQA compliance for District activities relating to the conveyance, treatment and disposal of wastewater. Worked extensively with District staff and consultant team to develop comprehensive EIR and extensive supporting technical data evaluating the state’s largest discharge of treated wastewater to a surface water body.
Representing plastic pipe manufacturers, worked closely with staff of California Building Standards Commission and consultant team to develop and complete environmental impact report for adoption of controversial statewide regulations authorizing the use of plastic pipe and defended CEQA challenge to the adoption of regulations. The extensive environmental analysis involved detailed consideration of potential health risks from chemical leaching into drinking water.
As member of consultant team to California Department of Food and Agriculture, provided legal and strategic advice regarding adequacy of program EIR for statewide eradication program for Light Brown Apple Moth.
Successfully defended CEQA challenge to Lucasfilm’s proposed expansion of Skywalker Ranch in Marin County.
Successfully defended CEQA challenges to development of eco-adventure coastal resort on San Mateo County coast.
On behalf of one of the largest U.S. poultry processors, negotiated settlement with U.S. EPA of threatened litigation under federal Emergency and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA), including significant reduction in penalties through development and approval of Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs).
Represented steel products manufacturer in defense of threatened EPCRA lawsuit, avoiding litigation by successfully negotiating favorable settlement with U.S. EPA, including major reduction in penalties.
Representing major Central Valley dairy, negotiated settlement with U.S. EPA of threatened EPCRA litigation, resulting in substantial reduction in penalties.
In conjunction with Regional Water Quality Control Board staff and technical consultant, assist local wastewater treatment entities in the development and adoption of regulations governing the discharge of treated wastewater, including strategic Basin Plan amendments and associated environmental review.
Assisted State Water Resources Control Board and environmental consultant team in developing strategy for program-level environmental analysis of proposed statewide regulations for on-site wastewater treatment systems.
Endangered Species and Wetlands
Successfully defended development of eco-adventure resort on San Mateo County coast from federal Endangered Species Act challenge, obtaining favorable verdict in federal district court bench trial.
Advised the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation on compliance with the state and federal Endangered Species Acts related to development of the Kern County at Delano II State Prison.
Serving as counsel to local Air Pollution Control District, assisted the district with its CEQA and NEPA compliance and air permitting issues including the development of new regulations to accommodate large-scale geothermal development projects on state and federal lands.
Successfully represented major national food processor in defense of threatened federal debarment through development of comprehensive environmental compliance program.